Browned butter infuses irresistible nuttiness into these four-ingredient cookies without sullying their essential simplicity or sandy texture. Dip them in satiny chocolate for effortless glamor.

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Ingredients

Directions

  • In a medium light-color* (such as stainless steel) saucepan or skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Continue to cook, stirring until butter turns golden brown and brown specks form in bottom of pan. Transfer to a medium bowl. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until almost firm. (If butter becomes completely firm, let it sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.)

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  • Meanwhile, line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

  • In a small bowl, stir together flour, sugar and cocoa. With an electric mixer, beat butter for 1 to 2 minutes until creamy. Stir in flour mixture until mixture begins to come together. Press dough together and form an 8-inch square on a prepared baking sheet.**

  • With a sharp knife, score top of dough about 1/4 -inch deep into 36 pieces. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill for 2 to 24 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 325°. Cut cookies along scored lines; place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until firm, about 20 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheets.

  • In a small bowl, microwave chocolate and shortening at 50 percent power for 1 minute; stir. Continue heating and stirring chocolate at 10- to 15-second intervals until smooth. Dip cookies halfway in chocolate, scraping excess chocolate from bottoms on bowl rim. (You may need to spread chocolate on the last few.) Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet. When chocolate is set, transfer to an airtight container and store for up to 5 days.

*Tip

Using a light-colored skillet or saucepan allows the browned butter specks to be seen easily, so you're less like to burn the butter.

**Alternate Method

Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with a 8-inch wide strip of parchment paper over lapping 2 sides by about 1 inch. Press dough into prepared pan. Using the paper, lift the dough out of pan and continue recipe.

Nutrition Facts

107 calories; 7 g total fat; 14 mg cholesterol; 41 mg sodium. 12 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein;

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